Validation of the Swahili version of the International Prostate Symptom Score at a private, nonprofit general hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Miten Patel
  • Masawa Klint
  • Philip Adebayo
  • Athar Ali
  • Jasmit Shah
  • Ali Akbar Zehri
Keywords: Cronbach’s alpha, internal consistency, Swahili, International Prostate Symptom Score, test–retest reliability, validity, Tanzania


Background: Accuracy in translating the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) into different languages is essential to ensure that it is comparable to the original version and acceptable to the target population. We aimed to develop and validate a Swahili version of the IPSS (sIPSS).

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 53 patients presenting with lower urinary tract symptoms to the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from April through December 2018. We enrolled 53 patients with confirmed benign prostatic hypertrophy and 32 control patients with suspected or confirmed urolithiasis. We assessed the face validity and discriminative validity of the sIPSS using standard statistical constructs, including Cronbach’s alpha, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), the receiver operating characteristic curve, and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. Test–retest reliability was assessed by comparing baseline sIPSS scores with those obtained after 1 week for all participants, and sensitivity to change was assessed by comparing baseline scores to those at 4 to 6 weeks after treatment in the BPH group.

Results: The sIPSS had excellent internal validity (Cronbach’s alpha, 0.86), comparable to that of the original IPSS. The test–retest reliability of the sIPSS was high (ICC, 0.84), and the mean improvement in sIPSS score 4 to 6 weeks after treatment was 9.7±6.4.

Conclusions: For use in the Tanzanian population, the sIPSS is reliable, valid, and sensitive to change.


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